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Musicians/Music Groups Fan Fiction >> Avenged Sevenfold

The following is a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

 

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The General
By Warped

 


When he was younger he could rumble like a hurricane

And leave you lying with a hunger for some novocaine

Hit the switch on the lights in a heartbeat

Just like your worst nightmare with a mean streak

He is old, now. Nearing eighty, and there are wrinkles in his brow that were never there before. His skin is wrinkled with age too, papery and thin, and his hair is white and his big old heart isn't what it used to be. His arms, littered with beautiful, apocalyptic ink, don't look quite as impressive as they used to, and the dimples those girls used to swoon over are now just two more wrinkles in an aged, noble face. But his eyes haven't changed. They have crow's feet around them now when he smiles, but the eyes are still full of youth; young eyes radiating echoes of all that power and glory he used to wield, set in an old face. They're hazel threaded with gold, and captivating: wolf's eyes, she used to call them. Still does call them. Wolf's eyes, his eyes.

He sits in his chair and stares out the window, now, as his grandchildren play around his feet, calling `Grandpa, grandpa! Come see this! Come play with me!' and he smiles at them, these reminders of his youth. Their mother settles them to watch the TV, and she squeezes his arm affectionately with her fingers as she passes him, offering him a faint smile in understanding. She knows he's reminiscing again; it's all he ever does these days - think of those days when he was young and on top of the world. When he had the world in the palm of his hand. He remembers his coach, and their training rituals, and the feeling before a match as they taped up his hands and helped him put on the gloves and the roar of the crowd as he walked out to face his opponent. The fury and the pain that would strike through him whenever he was hit; and the way he would snarl and hit back, propelled by that rage, the red mist. How he was unfailingly harder and stronger and more dangerous than his victim. How he was untouchable.

But all the talent and the money's only gonna breed

Every Queen every King you're ever gonna need

And they'll be nothing of the man and the legacy

By the time that they get through

He remembers when he was a champion. Not just a champion, but a world champion, and people would recognise him wherever he went - `the glory days'. He remembers when he was unbeatable, and for a moment his fists clench in that familiar coil before he remembers he is seventy-nine, not twenty eight and in his prime, and arthritis has set into his joints so that it hurts to move. But there's a fire re-ignited somewhere within those wolf's eyes; and he thinks of when he was such a predator, the top of the boxing food chain. `The General' they called him; not because of any particular army status, but because of the way he commanded their attention with every move he made - and the way he laid waste to his opponents.

But here he is now, a rheumatic old man with a weak heart and illness in his bones, sitting in his chair like he always does as his children's children play around him, growing as though right before his eyes. He sees them every Saturday when they come to visit him and their grandmother, and it seems that every time he blinks they have grown a little more, and he is a little more aged. There are framed pictures on the walls of his fights; preserved forever in black and white, the light striking the muscles in his shoulders and biceps and the tautness of his skin and the beautiful ink all over his body, and in all of them his fist is swinging towards his opponent, ready to strike that closing punch. Sometimes his grandchildren ask him about those pictures, and sit beside him or on his knee and nod obediently as he rambles about his youth and when he was someone, was something, demonstrating with weak old man's fists the way he'd throw his fists.

Every time you close your eyes you see your memory

'Boy you dream a lot'

Cause you're really not that man you used to be

His daughter, the youngest of his three children though she is well into her forties now, is the one who brings her children to see him the most, and whenever she sees him she smiles, seeing that glimmer of life in his eyes as he sits in that old chair. She mocks him playfully, affectionately, calling him a dreamer, telling him that it is the present, not his past. But sometimes he sees her taking those framed photos down from the wall when she thinks he isn't looking, or is too busy attending to the whims of his youngest grandchild, and out of the corner of his eyes he can see her studying those pictures; always feeling a surge of pride at the awe that lingers in her eyes when she looks at him afterwards and remembers her father is a champion. Was a champion. After all, he's just an old man now.

He goes for walks sometimes, to the shop to buy some bread, or just around the block with his wife, holding hands and pretending they're twenty-one and madly in love again. `Eighty is a far sight from twenty-one,' he chuckles on his birthday, when the family gather to watch him blow out the candles on his cake and his daughter reiterates that old tongue in cheek, `twenty one again'. He feels so normal, so old, so far away from that machine of a body he used to have, that man made of packed muscle and unstoppable force, with seething, predatory eyes and a guttural snarl always lingering in his throat. Now his eyes preserve only an echo of such danger, and the most of a snarl he can muster is a rusty cough.

When he was younger he could rumble like a hurricane

But now he stands out like a puddle in the pouring rain

Trying hard to chase an ever fading memory

Before the days of grace are never gonna be

Sometimes he sees his best friends again, the men who have always supported him through thick and thin. There are only two of them now, both of them as frail and elderly and yet strangely full of life as he is, and when they meet up and go for a walk together on old men feet, they stick out like sore thumbs; three tall, tattooed old men with ink on their fists and their hearts sore with desire for a youth that has abandoned them. They talk about the old days, about when he was a champion, about when Brian and Johnny could still move their fingers fast enough to play their instruments without it hurting. They get strange looks from teenagers who don't know who they are; who have never heard of them before. They talk about Zacky and Jimmy and all their old friends, and his wolf's eyes burn with sadness as tears slip down his papery cheeks when he returns home and retires to his chair - they're the only ones left.

He gets up early one morning, when his wife is still in bed, and he gets out all his old photo albums and stares at them, caressing each turned page with a tender old thumb. Pictures of his mother, his father, his sister. Pictures of his best friends - the five of them laughing at something the person holding the camera had said. Pictures of himself and his wife, forever youthful with her sultry eyes and hourglass waist. Pictures of his children. Pictures of his fights, and his broken, battered face, and the fierce look in his eyes as the referee holds up his arm - victory. He puts the albums down for a moment and runs a hand across his leathery face, feeling the huge bags under his eyes and the wrinkles in his skin and the way it's no longer taut but loose, and old just like he is. He goes back to bed and kisses his sleeping wife's cheek and he smiles with all the tenderness in the world, and he closes those hazel wolf's eyes that still burn with youth and passion.

And he doesn't open them again.

So gather round and buy a ticket for the funeral

Bring your camera and flowers for the general

Sit around and reminisce about the glory days

At his funeral days later his best friends sit on the front row and they do not try to conceal the tears slipping down their cheeks, or the fact that they are holding on to one another for support. His wife sits beside them, shaking frailly with her sobs, and Brian snakes his arm out and wraps it around her in a tiny, comforting gesture that makes her lean into him, silencing her grief. His children, two sons and that youngest daughter, sit next to their mother, all of them with similar expressions of anguish, and as the funeral continues they, too, allow themselves to cry. There are so many people that they don't even know there; so many people, aged like their mother and their father's friends are now, that remember the man who was once a champion. Who still is a champion, to them.

The funeral ends, and he is laid to rest. Some of the guests linger for a while, staring at the grave of their champion, and his wife is one of them, her tears flowing freely down her cheeks. By the time the guests have cleared, she is one of only three people remaining at the gravesite - and with sorrowful, tear-filled eyes she gazes at the three framed pictures that have been placed in front of his headstone.

The photo on the left - her husband with his entire family - his wife, his children, their children. His smile beams out of the photo just like the dimples indent his cheeks.

The centre photo - her husband in his prime; the animal of a man he once was conserved forever in one still photo of the last punch he threw in his final fight, his face contorted with brutal victory.

The photo on the right - her husband in his youth, surrounded by his friends. He's in the centre; Johnny and Jimmy on his left, Zacky and Brian on his right. Their faces are smiling, some of them caught in guffaws of laughter, their arms around one another's shoulders showing a tenderness she is unfamiliar with seeing in groups of friends any more.

She smiles faintly, and leans down to place a kiss to his headstone, then with her head bowed she turns and walks away, leaving only Johnny and Brian and their memories to her husband and his grave as the rain begins to fall.

Every time you close your eyes you see your memory

'Boy you dream a lot'

Cause you're really not that man you used to be

Every time you close your eyes you see your memory

'Boy you dream a lot'

Cause you're really not that man that people see.

 

The preceeding was a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

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